Every so often you have a dinner guest during the week that merits a bit of a special meal. A weekend meal on a weeknight as it were.  Last night I made Risotto with duck leg confit, topped off with a seared rare duck breast.  Two wines accompanied the feast – with all the details below.  First, the risotto: 
Risotto con Anatra
1 cup arborio rice
32 oz. chicken broth
1-2 duck legs confit
8-10 shittake mushrooms, sliced

2 shallots, diced
10-12 sage leaves (6 reserved for garnish)

Parmigiano Reggiano (for shaving)

Saute the mushrooms with some olive oil and diced sage until softened.  Remove, set aside. Slowly warm the duck legs, until the fat renders and the meat softens.  Allow to cool, then remove meat from the bones, chop, and set aside. 

Make the risotto as normal, start by sweating the shallots, then add the rice and toast for a minute or two while stirring constantly. Then ladle the broth as you need it until the rice is firm, al dente. Half way through the process, add the mushrooms and duck confit back into the rice. This will incorporate the flavors and warm everything together.  Serve with shaved Reggiano and sage leaves for garnish.   Separately I seared a fresh duck breast to accompany, and also sauteed broccolini with garlic and crushed red pepper.  I used duck demi-glace to make a pan sauce, and spooned this over the duck breast and the risotto. 

This dish, while a bit time consuming, was very easy to prepare. It took me almost 90 minutes from start, to plating, but it’s an easy time – one in which I sipped the first wine described below.  But for now, the finished entree.  

Risotto con Anatra (Risotto with Duck)

The 2010 Allegrini Valpolicella Classico  is made from Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes; three varieties indigenous to Northern Italy.  Produced in the hills to the west of Venice, this juicy vibrant red is full of bright cherry, floral, and spice aromas and flavors. It’s medium bodied in the mouth and ready to drink now.  Paired very well with Black Label Cambazola cheese.  88 points,  $11 – excellent value.



2010 Allegrini Valpolicella Classico

To pair with the risotto and duck entree, we opened the wonderful 2004 Collelcetto Brunello di Montaclino.  The 2004 vintage is wonderful, the first of a series of three tremendous vintages for Brunello (2004, 2006, 2007) and this wine is delicious right now.  It’s a pretty burgundian red, with the trademark copper rim in the glass that Brunello is noted for.  Dried herbs, dried flowers, red cherries leap from the glass. In the mouth, it’s not as heavy as other Brunello, yet it’s still full bodied.  The acids and tannins are ripe and in balance and the flavors follow the aroma.  This is juciy and delicious.  Collelcetto is a tiny estate, with impeccably manicured vineyards. I reported on their 2006 Brunello in July of last year.  While this one may not last 10 years in the cellar, it’s great now and will provide wonderful drinking for the next 3-5 years.  92 points. 
2004 Collelceto Brunello



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